S. 161: The Startup Act of 2015

By at 19 February, 2015, 2:08 pm

The Honorable Jerry Moran, United States Senate

The Honorable Mark Warner, United States Senate

The Honorable Christopher Coons, United States Senate

The Honorable Roy Blunt, United States Senate

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar, United States Senate

The Honorable Tim Kaine, United States Senate


Dear Senators Moran, Warner, Coons and Blunt, Klobuchar and Kaine:

On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and our 100,000 members nationwide, I am writing to express strong support for the “Startup Act” (S. 161). Thank you for reintroducing this important measure.

Startup activity and entrepreneurship in America needs to be much stronger. New business formation is critical to innovation, quality job creation, and economic growth. S. 161 addresses key areas that will improve the climate and conditions for risk taking and entrepreneurship.

First, the U.S. must build its pool of individuals who have the talent and propensity to start businesses, and we must aggressively compete globally to do so. Our global competitors have implemented incentive programs to attract high-skilled/entrepreneurial talent, thus giving these nations a potential edge. The Startup Act creates new visas for both immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign students with a STEM background. These provisions offer a sound strategy to retain and attract individuals who have the propensity and skills to start businesses, or provide the talent for high-growth firms.

Second, the Startup Act advances sensible reforms to ensure the U.S. regulatory system is not creating unintended roadblocks and burdens for small firms. S. 161 requires a cost-benefit analysis for significant rulemakings, and regulators will need to assess the potential impact of proposed rules on startups. These reasonable measures will ensure that regulations do not deter startup activity, and in turn investment, innovation and quality job creation. Requiring the GAO to study the effects of making Section 404(b) voluntary for small issuers will yield important information about the efficacy of this costly, compliance measure.

In addition, S. 161 strengthens the R&D tax credit for small businesses, introduces a new income tax credit for startups, and makes the capital gains tax exclusion permanent for “qualified small businesses.” These measures would improve capital access for, and encourage investment in, entrepreneurial firms and startups.

Lastly, the provision to accelerate commercialization of taxpayer-funded research (using existing dollars) is an efficient way to harvest innovation in American universities.

Thank you for your leadership in sponsoring and strongly advocating for the Startup Act. Please do not hesitate to call upon SBE Council to support your efforts in advancing this critical piece of legislation.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

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